Dr Rosemary Canavan is a Senior Lecturer in Biblical Studies at Catholic Theological College. As a biblical scholar she champions visual exegesis and the use of sociorhetorical interpretation to elucidate New Testament texts in their ancient contexts and engage interdisciplinary methods such as art history, archaeology and numismatics.
Currently Dr Canavan is a member of the Steering Committee for the SBL (Society of Biblical Literature) Group for Numismatic Evidence and Biblical Interpretation and has presented at the 2020 and 2021 Annual meetings in this Group session. Recently she accepted appointment as Co-Chair of the Rhetoric in Religious Antiquity Group also at SBL. Previously she held appointments for one term as Associate Dean: Postgraduate and Research and two terms as Academic Dean at Catholic Theological College. In conjunction with these, she also served as Chair of the Research Grants Committee for the University of Divinity and as Deputy Chair of the University Academic Board.
Dr Canavan first graduated with a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Psychology and Anthropology at University of Adelaide, then, later returned to complete Bachelor of Theology with Honours and a PhD at Flinders University. Most recently, she graduated with a Graduate Certificate in Higher Education from ACU. Her doctoral thesis is entitled “Clothing the Body of Christ at Colossae: a Visual Construction of Identity”.
Dr Canavan continues to pursue her research interests, which focus on the ancient city of Colossae and the Letter to the Colossians, visual exegesis, the Lycus Valley and the Pauline literature in the context of the Roman Empire. Currently her major projects are: (1) the writing of 1−2 Thessalonians Socio-rhetorical Exploration Commentary, (2) Visualisation of Women on Coins in Asia Minor, and (3) Finalising publication of twobook sections: “Remembered and Honoured: Women in the Lycus Valley” and “Unfolding Clothing in the Letter to the Colossians” for Lycus Valley, a volume in the series of New Documents Illustrating Early Christianity, edited by Professor James Harrison. Co-editors: Alan Cadwallader, Michael Trainor and Rosemary Canavan. Two other book sections are in press and will be published in 2022:
“The Public Inscriptions and Their Iconography: The Potential of Visual Exegesis” in Inscriptions, Graffiti and Documentary Papyri Eds. James Harrison and Randolph Richards ALNTS 10. Zondervan.
“Infants, Orphans, Children and Siblings: Strengthening the familial bonds of the ekklēsia of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” In The First Urban Churches Vol 7: Thessalonike edited by James Harrison and Larry Wellborn. Atlanta: SBL Press.
She currently teaches Letters of Paul, the Lukan Narrative and the Gospel of Matthew and is Coordinator of the Study Tour of the Biblical Lands. Previously she tutored and lectured in Theology and New Testament at the Adelaide College of Divinity, Department of Theology at Flinders University. Prior to this her career encompassed management, administration, training and employment services. She also has experience in working as a Pastoral Associate.
Dr Canavan is often invited to speak in parish and education contexts to elucidate the biblical texts and their relevance for today. Recent engagements include an invitation to speak to the staff of Mercy College Coburg on “The Women of Easter” and as keynote speaker at a Catholic Deanery gathering of around 60 participants in Camberwell entitled “Women in the Early Church: Implications for Today.”
- Senior Lecturer in Biblical Studies
Catholic Theological College
Teaching disciplinesBiblical Languages; New Testament; Biblical Studies
- Australian Catholic Biblical Association (President)
- Society of Biblical Literature (Member of Steering Committee for Numismatics and Biblical Interpretation program unit)
- Fellowship of Biblical Studies (Member)
- Society for the Study of Early Christianity (Member)
- American Numismatics Society (Member)
- Australian Catholic Bishops’ Conference: Bishops Commission for Evangelisation Laity and Ministry (Delegate to the Catholic Biblical Federation)